Poor Hires Impact Company Morale
Credit: Unhappy Worker Image via Shutterstock

At a time when businesses are trying to maximize productivity, hiring the right employee has never been more critical, a new study finds.

Research from staffing firm Robert Half International revealedthat supervisors, on average, spend 17 percent of their time — nearly one day per week — overseeing poorly performing employees.  

Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International, said underperforming employees require significant attention from employers, distracting managers from business-critical initiatives and causing other team members to pick up the slack.

The study shows managers aren't the only ones to suffer the effects of a bad hire. Nearly all of the chief financial officers (CFO) surveyed said bad hiring decisions at least somewhat impact the morale of the rest of the staff, with more than one-third of CFOs feeling morale is greatly affected.

"Bad hires are costly, not just for the drain they place on the budget, but also in terms of lost morale, productivity and time," Messmer said. "In retrospect, managers usually discover they failed to give proper attention to the hiring process."

In order to make the best hires, Robert Half advises employers to:

  • Don't go it alone: Tap colleagues for their thoughts on needed attributes and competencies for the open role, and work with a specialized recruiting firm to find the best candidates.
  • Don't think the Internet has all the answers: Cultivate a talent pipeline by personally reaching out to your network and recruiting sources. Online tools can be valuable, but personal interaction is the most important aspect of the hiring process.
  • Don't take too long: Extend an offer once you identify your top candidate. Companies that don't move quickly risk losing good people to other opportunities.
  • Don't offer a low salary: Offer a compensation packagethat, at a minimum, meets the market standard and stay current on prevailing trends.
  • Don't fail to differentiate between must-have and nice-to-have candidate attributes: Identify the skills that are mandatory and those that can be developed. The goal is to hire the person who is the best match for the job and your work environment.

The research was based on surveys of 1,400CFOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

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